News From Around The Blogosphere 12.2.08

The Royal Society of Chemistry is looking to take the work “chemical” back from the pseudo-scientists – For too long they’ve allowed the advertising and marketing industries to associate the word with “poison.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently defended an advert which perpetuated the myth that natural compounds are free of chemicals.

The truth, as any right-minded person will say, is that everything we eat, drink, drive, play with and live in is made of chemicals – both natural and synthetic chemicals are essential for life as we know it.

And now the Royal Society of Chemistry, perhaps taking a cue from James Randi, is offering up a million pounds to anyone who can present any material that is 100% chemical-free.

“Should anyone do this, we will see thousands of years’ worth of knowledge evaporate before our eyes. We would have to tear up the textbooks, burn the degree certificates and retrain the teachers.”

Update on yesterday’s story about the Cincinnati Zoo terminating their agreement with the Creation “Museum” – Apparently, it made Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis sad. Awww! When a bunch of creationists succeed in affecting policy by writing in mass complaints that’s just fine but when the same tactic is used against him, it’s written off as. . .

. . .the zoo received hundreds of complaints from what appear to be some very intolerant people. . .

You got to love the inconsistency of his position.

“These people basically worship Darwin–they worship evolution and cannot tolerate anyone who doesn’t agree with them!”…”Sad that someone with an atheistic agenda can cause a business relationship to be dissolved”…”they resort to censorship and underhanded campaigns”…”we are used to such integrity bashing.”

Where exactly is his righteous indignation when fellow Christians bitch and complain in mass. . .ALL THE TIME?! But then of course comes the bravado where he feigns gratitude to his enemies for giving him publicity (yeah, bad publicity and if we knew you wanted it all you had to do was ask. You’re most welcome):

Thank you, P.Z. Myers, for thousands of dollars’ worth of media promotion for our Bible-upholding museum! Actually, this will benefit the Creation Museum much more in the long run.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation gets an atheist sign put up next to a nativity scene in Washington – I love you, Dan Barker! And the text on the sign is outstanding:

At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Oh, and the added bonus is this surprisingly seems to have pissed off Bill O’Reilly. Sweet!! And he proves once again to be the master of the false analogy. He even gives out a phone number to complain. . .which begs the question: Will Ken Ham condemn this mass complaining and call O’Reilly an intolerant bigot? How about it, Ken?

Secular Coalition for America’s Year-End Report – And it’s been an awesome year for separation of church and state. Keep up the great work, Lori and everyone else at the SCA!

Christianity: The Ultimate Death Cult – a new museum exhibit called:

Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes includes a full-scale replica of Pope John Paul II’s crypt, an exact reproduction of the coffin used in the funerals of three previous Popes as well as replicas of other Papal vestments by the tailor shop that has made the vestments of the last seven Popes.

Okay, now where’s the “Lives” part? Creepy!

Campus Crusade For Christ to target preschoolers? – Or is it satire? Read the story. Decide whether you think this is fact or fiction. And then read on to find out if you’re right.

Last month I blogged about the most recent study that the media was tauting as proof that racy television watching leads to more teen pregnancy before. And I think he did a fairly good job, albeit briefly of illustrating how all the same flaws that existed in similar studies in the past were still there. But here is basically a much lengthier version of what I said but coming from others.


groin-kickMan says God ordered him to ram vehicle at 100mph – God apparently told him “she needed to be taken off the road.” And in a delicious bit of irony then, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kyle Coleman said:

“God must have been with them, ’cause any other time, the severity of this crash, it would have been a fatal.”

God’s a bit schizophrenic, don’t ya think?


scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyAntioxidants Unlikely To Prevent Aging? – “Diets and beauty products which claim to have anti-oxidant properties are unlikely to prevent aging, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust. Researchers at the Institute of Healthy aging at UCL (University College London) say this is because a key fifty year old theory about the causes of aging is wrong.”

Cell Phones Powered By Sound Waves? – “Imagine a self-powering cell phone that never needs to be charged because it converts sound waves produced by the user into the energy it needs to keep running. It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem thanks to the recent work of Tahir Cagin, a professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University.”

Creating ‘Handedness’ In Biological Molecules – “The basic molecules that make up all living things have a predetermined chirality or “handedness,” similar to the way people are right- or left-handed. This chirality has a profound influence on the chemistry and molecular interactions of living organisms. The inception of chirality from the elementary building blocks of matter is one of the great mysteries of the origin of life.”

Virus In Lemur Could Shed Light On AIDS – “The genome of a squirrel-sized, saucer-eyed lemur from Madagascar may help scientists understand how HIV-like viruses coevolved with primates, according to new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The discovery, to be published online on Dec. 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could provide insight into why non-human primates don’t get AIDS and lead to treatments for humans.”


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